what is probation period in uae

All you need to know about what is probation period in UAE, Dubai

The UAE is a country where the economy is quite dynamic. Consequently, the market needs a labour force that is able to adapt to the system. Therefore, it is important to know what is probation period in UAE. Being such a practical tool, in which employers and potential employees get to know each other before issuing a job offer.

In this article, we will delve into what is probation period in UAE. Focusing on examining the positive and negative sides of this early employment phase. Moreover, we will also guide you on key regulations. Such as: the maximum duration, cancellation rights and entitlement of benefits during the probation period in UAE. This way you will go through it with absolute clarity and confidence.


what is probation period in uae

The UAE, a fast-changing economy where business is on the rise, demands a dynamic and effective labor market. Probation is one of the main components of this model, it benefits employers and employees.

But what is probation period in UAE, and how does it function within the employment landscape? Here is a deeper dive into why they are mandatory:

  • Mitigating Hiring Risks: Probationary periods give employers an opportunity for a comprehensive evaluation of an employee. Skills, work ethic, and a cultural fit. This preferentially reduces the possibility of bringing on board someone who does not have the prerequisite skills or is a misfit with the organizational culture.
  • Ensuring Mutual Compatibility: The first months of new employment will be a period of transition for employees and employers too. Probation time is time for employees to actually experience the corporate culture, workload, and working environment of their teammates. They use it to see if the role answers their potential, personality, and work likes.
  • Early Identification of Performance Issues: The probation period in UAE provides a priceless chance for employers to recognize any performance obstacles. That means that the training could become more specific and address some particular weak points. Early detection of these kinds of problems resolves long-term performance issues and come from a more productive workforce.
  • Streamlined Termination Process: If an employee fails to suit in, the probation period makes the termination process to be less complicated. Nevertheless, after the probation time ends, the UAE law makes it imperative fairness is observed. Thus, employees still have access to any benefits an employer would deny to the employees as contract expiry reason.

In general, probation period in UAE is a safety measure that both employers and workers should accept. It aims at developing a more knowledgeable and competent recruitment process.


The UAE Ministry of Labour has set up what is probation period in UAE. Which ensures for both sides that the employer and the worker get a balanced and fair system.

  • Maximum Duration: On Article 9 of Federal Decree-Law No. 33, the probation period lasts 6 months from the start date of employment.
  • Notice Period for Termination: During the probationary period employer as well as employee have a right to end the contract.
  • Employee Mobility: Can I resign after probation period in UAE? There is no legal constraint which forbids the employee from withdrawing from the probationary period in UAE and applying for other job positions.
  • Sick Leave Entitlement: Employees do not usually take paid leave during the probation period, as a rule. Yet, certain progressive establishments may extend sick-day benefits right from the beginning of the employment, hence creating a favorable workplace.
  • Gratuity During Probation: Gratuity is another employment compensation, as determined by relevant UAE laws. It is not paid to employees terminated during probation. Thus, gratuity is calculated on the employee’s gross salary which is multiplied by total service period.
  • Prohibition of Extension: The UAE Ministry of Labour states clearly that the probation period should not exceed six months. Which is to protect employees from exploitation.

Observing these probation period regulations give employers and employees a basic guideline for a successful job. Which can be useful during this trial period. Employers will abide by labor laws and will also be able to conduct a job evaluation through an easy-to-use assessment tool.

Next, we are going to shift our focus on the other parts of probation period in UAE labour law:


The labor law in UAE sets what is probation period in UAE and its maximum duration. This provides stability and predictability of both employers and employees. Let us delve deeper into the specifics of this regulation:

Federal Decree-Law No. (33) of 2021, Article 9(1), clearly states the maximum duration of a probation period in the UAE. It cannot exceed six months from the employee’s start date. This time frame provides employers with a sufficient window to assess an employee’s skills, work ethic, and cultural fit.

On the other hand, this avoids the case where the employees are led through a long period of ambiguity regarding their employment status. The six-month cap serves several purposes:

  • Fairness for Employees: A long probation period may create a lot of pressure and make the employee less productive. It is vital to reinforce the time limit. As a result, that will protect the workers from the exploitation and ensure a smooth integration process. They will be able to enjoy the many benefits and rights of a confirmed position.
  • Reduced Costs for Employers: Extending the probationary time period longer than what is probation period in UAE may bring unnecessary costs. This are associated with employees training and onboarding which will not result in adjudicating who is a good candidate. The six-month limit instructing employers to handle the case of an employee losing within a descriptive time frame.
  • Clarity and Predictability: Procedurally, clear legal limits on the probation period lead to business transparencies in employer-employee relationship. Both parties have equal access to the assessment time and the decision-making time frame. Fostering a faster and smoother hiring process.


The UAE labor market offers the probation period as a place of flexibility in termination of contracts both for the employers and employees.

Employer’s Right to Terminate: Employers have the power to discontinue the contract without prior notification during probation period. Moreover, this enables employers to have effective worker management in response to the unexpected fluctuations in business needs.

Employee’s Right to Terminate: Potential employees own the right to break a term contract during a probation period. But, in contrast to employers, they have to submit a written note of their retirement at least 14 days before.

Reasons for Termination: Employers do not request a special reason for termination during the probation period. Among the common reasons for termination are:

  • Performance Issues: When the employee does not meet the performance needs or does not make the required efforts to learn the required skills. Then the employer may initiate a termination process.
  • Behavioral Concerns: Where being caught for serious misconducts. For instance: dishonesty, insubordination, and violation of company policies. These can be among the reasons for dismissal during probation.
  • Lack of Cultural Fit: If the employee does not fit the company’s culture and meet their team well, termination might be the only resort.
  • Change in Business Needs: In the event of not planned business changes, employment adjustments, or a necessity to reduce workforce or replace the talents, the employers may include the short termination during probation.

The knowledge of contract termination during the probation stage is vital not only to employers, but to employees too. Consequently, both parties can approach it with realistic expectations and then make decisions that will be in their best interests.


A commonly asked question on this period is: what happens if I resign during my probation period in UAE 2024? Under the UAE labor law, employees are granted a substantial degree of independence during the probation period to pursue alternative employment opportunities.

This freedom of movement during probation can be advantageous for both employees and the job market as a whole:

  • Through letting employees experience other jobs, chances of them finding a good match for their skills and interests become higher. These could be a cause of better job satisfaction. Which in turn, makes the employees more productive and the whole workforce more efficient.
  • Probationary period gives an employee the liberty to abandon that initial job or company culture if the expectations are not met. This helps both the employee and the employer to be free from disruption that would arrive as a result of the person having to job-hop around.
  • There is no limitation on where one may look for work. But an employee must still provide a written notice of resignation after probation period in UAE at least two weeks before the date. This allows the employer time to initiate the recruitment process and ensure a smooth handover of responsibilities.
  • While employees have the right to resign during probation, it is important to maintain professional conduct. This includes fulfilling their duties and responsibilities to the best of their ability during the notice period. Ensuring a smooth handover of any ongoing tasks or projects.

Understanding the right to resign and seek alternative employment allows employees to navigate the probation period with confidence. They can actively explore their options while fulfilling their professional obligations. As a result, maintaining a positive reputation within the UAE job market.


The initial six-month probation period is usually seen as an opportunity for an employee as well as employer to experience working with each other. During this employment period, certain benefits like paid sick leave are not included. There are several reasons behind this approach:

  • The employer is weighing the employee’s performance. So, they may not be certain whether it is worth providing full benefits packages because it could represent a significant expense if the employee fails to satisfactorily perform.
  • Employers should focus on what they see as core skills of and ethical values of the employee. Rather than focus on absences.

Despite not being able to take paid leave, other alternatives could exist in accordance to the company’s policies and the nature of the employee’s disease. Such as, compensating for instances of unpaid leave or working remotely, if the job position allows and depending on the illness.

Open communication becomes important now. Employees should notify their employer immediately in case of sickness. Then, determine the possible conditions for adjusting their workload during the time they are away.

If a probation period is successful, with the employee being hired permanently, a full-benefit package shall be given. Which usually covers paid sick leaves.

Although employees are lacking paid sick leave for the probation period, it is essential to comprehend the law. Also, discover alternatives to cope with the health-related issues during the early phase of employment.


Gratuity refers to the lump sum money staff members get at the end of their employment contract. It is the sum of the employee’s basic pay and the length of service rendered in the company.

Usually, those workers who are terminated during the probation period are not eligible for the gratuity as laid down in the UAE law. There are a few reasons why gratuity is not typically awarded during probation:

  • As the probation period lasts just 6 months, the amount of accumulated service time is not enough to qualify for the due benefits according to the formula.
  • This period can be regarded as a test phase for both the employer and his/her employee. Gratitude is a common perception as a reward of long-term commitment and loyalty to the organization. Not just a probation period when the relationship is not yet established.
  • By giving out gratuity payment during a probationary period. May include a significant financial burden if the new employee does not work out.

There are certain cases that can be classified as the exceptions. The employee can claim the gratuity if there is evidence from the employer that the worker was terminated unjustly. For instance, proving the wrongful termination of the employee or violation of his or her rights.

In this regard, there is a need to provide employers and employees with a clear picture of gratuity entitlement. Especially during the probation period, so as to avoid misunderstandings. The employment contract should state in abundantly clear terms when gratuity would be paid.

Through knowing the gratuity entitlement policies, both employers and employees will be able to pursue fair and appropriate behavior towards their employees during employment life.


The UAE’s probation period is strictly non-extendable under any circumstances. Such a regulation, therefore, ensures that employees will avoid staying for a long time in the employment limbo phase. In which they are unclear about the status of their job.

In case the employer tries to extend the probation period over six months, the employee can potentially appeal through the UAE Ministry of Labour. The Ministry may take a legal measure to ensure the compliance with the law. Also, the employee could bring a legal action against the employer.

On the other hand, if the employer feels that a longer period is necessary to comprehensively assess an employee’s capabilities, particularly for highly specialized roles, they can discuss alternative options with the employee:

  • Confirmation with Extended Training: The employee could be on probation but assigned to a permanent job title. With a possibility of extended training for a specified time beyond six months to complete the probation period.
  • Short-Term Contract: The employer might, in particular, grant the employee a contract for more than six months. Which would not be considered as the probation period but would be good enough for the employee to have more time evaluated for the permanent position.

Nevertheless, these options in turn need proper communication and make it mandatory to the employee to sign an agreement. With this provision, companies and employees manage to abide by the labor law of UAE and have a fair and evident hiring procedure.

Benefits and Challenges of Probation Periods in UAE

Knowing what is probation period in UAE can be a successful stage in the employment cycle. As long as the employers and employees are aware of the benefits and the possible downside associated with it. Proper management can make employment in the UAE more successful. Consider the following general benefits:

  • Reduced Employee Turnover: Probation periods can be helpful to find those candidates that are not right for the job. Which helps to reduce employee turnover. As a result, the employer can save on recruitment expenses and the employee can have a more secure job.
  • Improved Job Matching: Probation periods help to enhance the labour efficiency. By giving an opportunity to both employers and employees to assess the level of compatibility before signing the permanent contract.
  • Fairness and Transparency: As an employer, having a clear knowledge of probation period rules guarantees that fairness and transparency are in the hiring processes.

Pros for Employers

  • Reduced Hiring Risks: Probation periods help employers to evaluate an employee’s respective skills, dedication to work, and alignment with company culture provided. This leads to early detection of the incompatibility of an employee. This kind of job-person matching saves time and resources. Which may be required for the onboarding and training of employees who are not a good fit culture of a company or the role they fill.
  • Improved Performance Management: Through these self-awareness exercises, employers can determine the areas where their employees excel and where they have the need for improvement. By providing targeted training and support, both employers and employees together contribute to the development of the new hire into a productive member of the team.
  • Flexibility in Decision-Making: Having the authority to terminate a worker’s contract upon probation without any prior notice provides employers with a higher level of flexibility in managing their workforce, especially during crisis situations or in case of serious misbehavior by the employee.
  • Reduced Costs: Getting a handle on the performance problems before time elapses might prevent other issues, such as decrease in productivity or resignations. Further, the absence of the normally expected benefits such as paid leave for sick days becomes a barrier between an employee and the company only for the trial period.

Pros for Employees

  • Trial Period for the Job: The probation period is an important way for the employee to test the waters and find out if the company culture, workload and the team dynamics fit them well. This demonstrates to them what kind of job they want, whether it suits their personality or not, and if working in the team would be okay for them. This early stage will save time, effort and energy on some other occupation that is not a perfect place for them.
  • Opportunity to Impress: Employees can take advantage of the probation period to demonstrate their core competencies, industriousness, and great attitude to the hiring authority. This often leaves them with a good reputation and better chances of having a long-term career with the company. Staff that excel during their probation period can go a long way toward establishing themselves as a good fit for permanent positions.
  • Escape Hatch from a Bad Fit: This flexibility is vital, as if the worker learns that the job and/or the atmosphere in the company does not match his/her expectations, he/she will be able to quit the company and begin to work somewhere else, without having to deal with the complexity of a longer resignation period. This flexibility saves them from having to grapple with sticking to a role that does not meet their needs or dreams.
  • Reduced Pressure on Long-Term Performance: The procedure has just started on assessment so it does not cause high pressure for developing breakthrough effects right from the start. This gives employees an opportunity to feel the ropes, to adapt to the environment and build their skills and self-confidence gradually. It helps them because they will not be overwhelmed with the responsibilities which are not in line with their expectation on day one.

Common Challenges Faced

Probation period has its own set of inherent challenges that can come up when someone has just started to work. Here is a closer look at some common pitfalls to avoid:

  • Performance Anxiety: The performance anxiety during probation period can turn out to be a double-edge sword. Employers can counter this by creating a supportive environment, setting coincident expectations, and in keeping with that expectation giving feedback. Employees should concentrate on developing their skills and finding solutions to dismiss the anxiety that might derive from work through self-compassionating and adopting a work-life balance policy.
  • Limited Training and Support: Poor training support during probation may lead both employers and employees to share an experience of being dissatisfied. It becomes difficult for employers to judge an employee’s real performance if he is not adequately trained to handle a given task. Employers should, therefore, invest in training programs and assign mentors to persons on probation.
  • Unrealistic Expectations: Differences in understanding and further expectations employers and employees could complicate the on-boarding process. Of course, good communication is paramount. Employers should define realistic performance goals, and employees should actively seek clarification on expectations and responsibilities.
  • Lack of Communication: Lack of communication may lead to the increase of misunderstandings and dissatisfaction of all parties within the probation process. Employers need to provide their workers with required feedback and annual assessments. Employees are advised to raise up problems, shortcomings or challenges they have met. Open communication builds trust and corrective action can be taken if necessary.
  • Short-Term Focus: The mindset of achieving immediate results can sometimes override the long-term growth and teamwork focus of probation. Employers should finance much effort around company culture strengthening and teamwork development within the organizations. Employees need to work on learning and development along with relationships with co-workers.


what is probation period in uae

To sum up, a probation period is an essential factor in the UAE’s employment landscape. By knowing what is probation period in UAE, and being aware of its advantages and disadvantages, employees and employers can foster positive relations and balance those issues.

Employers can use the probationary period as a tool to enhance the workforce productivity and performance. Employees can benefit from the period to examine whether the job fits their career and to improve their skills as well. Understanding both your rights and responsibilities in contemplation of your career moving forward is the key to a harmonious and lasting success in a job position.

If you have any further inquiries about any other matters regarding the probation period in UAE labour law, please feel free to contact us. We are here to offer the supportive guidance necessary to minimize obstacles for both job seekers and employers.

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